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XJ axle swap/build

DocTremp

New member
NAXJA Member
Well I don’t really know where to start, but I’ve had my XJ since I was 17 and I have been tinkering on it on and off since then ( I’m almost 31 now). Being in high school and college I didn’t have the money, time or place to do what I really want to it, but I’ve been able to do small things over the years. Now that I’m done with school and have a little bit more time and money I decided to send it and do an axle swap so that I can run 37’s comfortably with having to worry too much about breaking/bending axles etc.
So far this is what I have:
- 1990 2 door xj with ax-15 and 4.0, moon roof and wind wings
- RE 4.5 inch short arm lift full spring pack and 3/4 inch spacer to level front/back
- RE track bar and sway bar disconnects
- XJ Dana 44 with ZJ disc brake swap and factory LSD
- 94 HP non-disconnect Dana 30
- pro comp series 51 steel rims
- 33x12.5r15 Mastercraft MT tires
- RE monotube shocks
- RE extended brake lines
- OE XJ rear tire carrier
- WJ MC and booster with ZJ prop valve
- carpet remover and bed lined interior
- 50 led light bar (I know, “lockers before light bars”)

What the plan is:
- disc brake swapped sterling 10.25
- trussed HP Dana 44 from 78 F250
- 3 link front from stinkyfab with tcase skid
- high-steer from ruff stuff
- front and mid frame stiffeners
- Durango steering box
- ruff stuff track bar
- 37x12.5r17 Cooper STT pro
- method 701(?) 17x8.5 with 4.75 bs
- rock sliders and bumpers with cut/fold
- winch
- rear elocker swap from 2011+ sterling 10.5

What I have so far:
- both axles with 4.56 gears (in process) and Torq locker for d44 and TNT truss. U bolt eliminator brackets for 10.25. Warn Premium hubs for d44.
- ruff stuff parking brake calipers with brackets and rotors for sterling 10.25
- frame stiffeners
- stinkyfab frame side link mounts and tcase skid
- enduro joints from bars 4x4
- Track bar/mounts and part of steering from ruff stuff (need to get tie rod and another high steer arm)
- diff covers from ruff stuff
- new seals, ball joints and bearings for both axles.
- Durango steering box

Where I am at right now:
- axles are torn down and in process of being re-geared.
- working on getting Jeep ready to install stiffeners while axles are being geared.
- accumulating parts needed for swap, which is just a few steering parts I think.

I might be a bit in over my head, but so far my wife has not stopped me, so I’m going for it while I can haha!
I don’t have a lot of photos of my Jeep as when I take it out, I usually forget to take any photos. I’ll try to attach some if I can figure it out.
e2647c24e093b8c4bb8ceec7700d5a2b.jpg







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Axles torn down waiting for gears. Also doing cut/turn on the d44 to get better pinion angles and castor.


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Awesome! I assume, from the 10.25 and not a 9, you are keeping 8x6.5?

If the F-250 calipers are similar size to Dana 60, and you are doing the Ruffstuff rear calipers, be prepared for a very soft and long travel brake pedal...that stops you. I had a WJ master and booster and it was not impressive with those giant calipers.

If your XJ 44 rear is 3.55 or 4.10, I am interested in it when you are done with it. :cheers:
 
Awesome! I assume, from the 10.25 and not a 9, you are keeping 8x6.5?



If the F-250 calipers are similar size to Dana 60, and you are doing the Ruffstuff rear calipers, be prepared for a very soft and long travel brake pedal...that stops you. I had a WJ master and booster and it was not impressive with those giant calipers.



If your XJ 44 rear is 3.55 or 4.10, I am interested in it when you are done with it. :cheers:



Yessir, that is the plan. A 9 would have been nice but more work overall and I am somewhat lazy haha.
Yeah, that’s kind of what I am afraid of but I am not sure what other options I have. What did you end up doing? I’ve hear of guys running larger bore MCs then having issues with a hard peddle that does not stop you.
Well I hate to break it to you, but it’s a 3.07 :(
I will need to get rid of it at some point tho.


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Awesome man. Through up as many pics as possible. Alot of people interested in this type of build. Looking forward to it. Im looking at grabbing the same three link and skid this year. Stinkyfab does some awesome stuff.
 
dd8bf81d313c27828f6db1b8806b74bc.jpg

Barnes enduro joint fits in the lower link ok, but binds ever so slightly in the upper link mount. I think if I drill a hole in the right spot it will work fine.


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Had to hone the center pin holes as they were too tight. This is a 3.92+ carrier from Yukon.


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Yessir, that is the plan. A 9 would have been nice but more work overall and I am somewhat lazy haha.
Yeah, that’s kind of what I am afraid of but I am not sure what other options I have. What did you end up doing? I’ve hear of guys running larger bore MCs then having issues with a hard peddle that does not stop you.
Well I hate to break it to you, but it’s a 3.07 :(
I will need to get rid of it at some point tho.


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I put that bitch on a trailer, towed to 1-4 events a year, and went wheeling. It stopped well enough from the large surface area and I like to think Green Junk was fairly light. Had to be a lot lighter than like a JKU!

F-250 Dana 44 brakes may not have the same piston area as the Dana 60 dual piston calipers, it may not be as bad.

Also, be very deliberate about drag link, track bar, and bump stops. It is easy to give up lots of uptravel by getting greedy with high steer height.
 
I put that bitch on a trailer, towed to 1-4 events a year, and went wheeling. It stopped well enough from the large surface area and I like to think Green Junk was fairly light. Had to be a lot lighter than like a JKU!



F-250 Dana 44 brakes may not have the same piston area as the Dana 60 dual piston calipers, it may not be as bad.



Also, be very deliberate about drag link, track bar, and bump stops. It is easy to give up lots of uptravel by getting greedy with high steer height.



I have a feeling they might be The same size calipers. I’ll have to figure something out because I want to drive it to the trails.
Give up, up travel by having too many things like track bar mounts in the way and having too long of bumps? What should I look out for when doing my high steer?
Thanks for the heads up btw


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Nice man !
 
I have a feeling they might be The same size calipers. I’ll have to figure something out because I want to drive it to the trails.
Give up, up travel by having too many things like track bar mounts in the way and having too long of bumps? What should I look out for when doing my high steer?
Thanks for the heads up btw


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I find high steer unnecessary for most lifts under 5”. I have jk axles with stock steering geometry on a 5” lift. Super low tierod. I just used an aluminum tierod kit from stinky fab and i bash the crap out of that thing and it always snaps back straight.

Just dont go crazy on raising all your steering and track bar. There isnt a tone of room above the axle on compression unless your running 40s.
 
I find high steer unnecessary for most lifts under 5”. I have jk axles with stock steering geometry on a 5” lift. Super low tierod. I just used an aluminum tierod kit from stinky fab and i bash the crap out of that thing and it always snaps back straight.

Just dont go crazy on raising all your steering and track bar. There isnt a tone of room above the axle on compression unless your running 40s.



Thanks for the heads up! I am going to do my best to keep the track bar low as possible but still keep it parallel and the same length as the drag link.


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Stinkyfab tcase skid and frame side link mounts. Painted them to keep them from rusting.


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Subscribed for my own info. Pics of the Dana 44 cut and turn please.

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D44 cut turn: I am half way through the process and I’ll post the pics that I have so far. Basically I used a cut off wheel and was really careful to cut only the weld on the inner C. When I was sure I had cut all the way through I took an 8 lb hammer and a map torch and hammered them off. Quite a tight fit from the factory.


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Dude don’t sand too much, they are supposed to be a tight fit. Like heat the knuckle up in the oven or grill and put it on the tube at night.

If you are not narrowing, you don’t have to take them off. Just cut the weld and turn on the tube.
 
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